Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northport, NY
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Re: Masthead tricolors
I understand the argument that not every boat is manned by watchful and knowledgeable people, and I agree with that. However, it undercuts the argument that masthead lights are ineffective, as well as the argument that simultaneous operation of masthead and deck lights is stupid.
It argues for lighting your boat up like a christmas tree with every light on board. And playing loud music. Colregs be damned.
(Maybe Disney agrees with me?)
I'm still looking for a well-reasoned argument against masthead lights, and not a series of tangentially-related anecdotes that do not involve masthead lights. Particularly anecdotes that describe unreasonably stupid or careless people or reasonably unlikely events.
My first priority is to avoid these type of navigation situations. For this I rely on my running lights (masthead under sail) and my AIS transponder to broadcast the most information about me the farthest I can, as well as my AIS, eyeballs, and radar to provide me as much information as possible.
I trust my information input over my output, and take proaction myself. I consider my actual running lights to be the weakest link, and the deck lights weaker than the masthead.
A masthead light is the STEAMING LIGHT.... ON a sailboat it is not at the top of the mast... above halfway to 2/3 up from the deck. The lights at the TOP of the mast would be an anchor light or a tricolor. If you are motoring the masthead light is to be lit.
What is the rule for for port and starboard lights for motoring? Can you use the tri color and the masthead?
pay attention... someone's life depends on it